I beg to move,
That the Order of 20 June 2011 (Pensions Bill [Lords] (Programme)) be varied as follows:
1. Paragraphs 4 and 5 of the Order shall be omitted.
2. Proceedings on Consideration shall be taken in the order shown in the first column of the following Table.
3. The proceedings shall (so far as not previously concluded) be brought to a conclusion at the times specified in the second column of the Table.
Time for conclusion of proceedings
Amendments to Clause 1 and Schedule 1, and New Clauses relating to state pension age.
7.45 pm at today’s sitting.
New Clauses relating to Part 2; Amendments to Clauses 4 to 17; New Clauses relating to the meaning of ‘money purchase benefits’; remaining New Clauses; Amendments to Clauses 2, 3 and 18 to 33; New Schedules; Amendments to Schedules 2 to 5; and remaining proceedings on Consideration.
9 pm at today’s sitting.
4. Proceedings on Third Reading shall (so far as not previously concluded) be brought to a conclusion at 10 pm at today’s sitting.
Briefly, as you will be aware, Mr Speaker, this Pensions Bill covers a wide range of issues. The issue that has understandably attracted most attention has been the one about state pension age. The programme motion thus gives that issue the lion’s share of the time available for Report. There is a range of other important issues relating to private pensions, so the final hour or so is given over to all those issues. Rather than detaining the House by talking about talks, as it were, I commend the programme motion and hope that we can move on to debating the substantive issues.
Hon. Members will have noted that in his very brief speech the Pensions Minister did not mention my new clause 8. Debate on the first group of amendments is due to end at 7.45 pm. As a consequence, we will regrettably have only one hour and 15 minutes allocated to three further matters, including six Government new clauses and three Opposition amendments on automatic enrolment, and five Government new clauses and one Government amendment on money purchase benefits, before we reach my new clause. I do not know whether we will reach new clause 8, but I am, perhaps uncharacteristically, pessimistic. If we do not do so, the issue will, under the current proposals, come back to haunt us as we see the full cumulative effect of the change from the retail prices index to the consumer prices index basis.
I do not wish to open debate on my new clause now, but I want to put it on record, as I said on Second Reading, that the CPI has more often been lower than the RPI. The figures announced today show a small difference between the two measures, with RPI at 5.6% and CPI at 5.2%. That, of course, is no guarantee for the future. I will not detain the House further on this matter now, as I hope to able to speak to new clause 8. I just wanted to make those points at this juncture.
Question put and agreed to.